2013's best crossbows
Interest in crossbow shooting and hunting continues to grow as increasing numbers of states pass legislation allowing crossbows during deer, bear, hog, turkey and other hunting seasons. For example, in 1980 only two states allowed crossbows during the regular archery deer seasons. Today, 20 states consider crossbows as “archery tackle,” and four more states approving crossbows for deer hunting under special regulations. Crossbows are also legal for use during firearms seasons in 13 states. Fifteen states now allow crossbows for all legal game in season.
As more states are expected to approve crossbows for hunting at some level, manufacturers continue to work to provide more efficient, dependable and accurate products designed with the hunter’s needs in mind. The continuing trend in lighter, slimmer, more accurate crossbows is fueling the enthusiasm of hunters who want to branch out beyond sitting in tree stands or blinds to stalking, still-hunting and hit-and-run tactics.
As crossbows hunters look forward to additional hunting opportunities this season, here’s a look at what’s new in crossbows, arrows and accessories in 2013.
The PSE Enigma offers advanced limb and cam technology that produces a sizzling 350 fps with only 150 pounds of draw weight. Features include a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories, adjustable stock, embroidered sling and side-mounted quiver.
The Enigma package includes 4x32 scope with four reticles, sling, four-arrow quiver, four carbon arrows (field points included), cocking rope and Wax Stick rail lube. MSRP: $599.99. Visit www.pse-archery.comfor more information.
Arrow Precision Inferno Firestorm II
Featuring compression-molded limbs, CNC-machined aluminum cams and an aircraft-grade aluminum riser, the Firestorm II is unique with its “two-finger” draw weight of 165 pounds, which generates arrow speeds of 375 fps. Finished in Next Vista soft-touch camo, the bow weighs 8¼ pounds and is 40½ inches long.
A Firestorm II package includes an illuminated (red-green) 4x32 scope, padded shoulder sling, QD quiver, four 20-inch arrows, field points, rope cocker and shooting goggles. MSRP: $649.99. Visit www.arrow-precision.comfor more information.PR_Arrow-Precision-FirestormII.jpg
Barnett Ghost 410
Barnett’s Ghost 410 boasts an arrow speed rated at 410 fps. Weighing in at just 7.3 pounds and only 19 inches wide, this bow is lighter and faster than its predecessor, the Ghost 400, but the G410 has maintained some of its most impressive features. The aluminum flight track produces smooth function with no added weight. The Ghost 410 includes Barnett’s CROSSWIRE string and cable system and an Anti-Dry-Fire Trigger Safety System. With its 185-pound draw weight and 15 ¾-inch power stroke, the Ghost 410 generates 151 ft./lbs. of kinetic energy.
A Ghost 410 package includes three 22-inch arrows, Barnett’s new Talon crossbow sling, a new Carbon Cross three-arrow quiver, a rope cocking device and premium paper-sighted illuminated scope. The Ghost 410 weighs 7 ¼ pounds, is 38 inches long, and has an axle-to-axle width of 19 inches. MSRP: $1,190. Visit www.barnettcrossbows.comfor more information.
Darton’s new FireForce split-limb crossbow weighs 8 ¼ pounds, is 38 inches long and has a 24 ¼-inch axle-to-axle width. At 185 pounds draw weight, the FireForce generates 400 fps arrow speeds using a 17 1/4-inch power stroke. Trigger pull is 3 pounds. The bow features a string suppressing system and barrel dampener to reduce noise and vibration.
A FireForce accessory package includes scope and mounts, quiver, monopod, cocking winch or rope, case, string wax and three-pack of 22-inch arrows. The FireForce crossbow is sold without accessories, however. MSRP: $1,031.57. Visit www.dartonarchery.com for more information.PR_Darton-Fireforce.jpg
Excalibur Matrix 380 Xtra
Boasting arrow speeds of 380 fps from a massive draw weight of 260 pounds, the Matrix 380 is one of the most powerful compact recurve-limb crossbows on the market. Weighing just under 6 pounds with an overall length of 35 ½ inches, the Matrix features a Realtree Xtra camo pattern stock, anti-dry-fire mechanism and a built-in de-cocker. The bow shoots 18-inch arrows.
A Matrix 380 package includes a Tact-Zone scope (with 30mm rings), cheek piece, noise suppressors, a four-arrow quiver, four arrows, field points and cocking aid.
MSRP: $1,149.99. Visit www.excaliburcrossbow.com for more information.PR_Excalibur-Matrix380.jpg
The Intercept’s unique Picatinny platform accommodates most military- and commercial-spec AR parts, allowing hunters to customize their crossbow to their own body type, hunting technique and shooting style.
The adjustable six-position stock (13 to 19 inches) allows shooters to create a custom shoulder mount. The bow also offers a number of connection points for accessories on its 29 inches of Picatinny rail, including 15 inches on the top rail, 9 inches on the forearm rail and 4 inches on the stock rail. In addition, the Intercept includes two sling studs on the riser and one sling plate located on the butt stock.
Accessory options include folding grips, fore grip bipod, adjustable fore grip, quick-detachable scope mounts, QD compact flashlight, adjustable butt stocks, compact crossbow case and tactical single-point shooting sling. The Intercept’s uncocked limb width is 17 inches, with a cocked width of 13 ½ inches, and it weighs just over 8 pounds. The Intercept drives arrows downrange at 360 fps with a draw weight of 185 pounds, producing 122 ft./ lbs. of kinetic energy. An Intercept package includes a 1.5-5x32 illuminated scope, three-arrow QD quiver, three Maxima Blue Streak arrows with field points, a cocking rope and rail lube. MSRP: $899.99. Visit www.cxcrossbows.comfor more information.PR_Intercept.jpg
Kodabow Bravo Zulu
With a 200-pound draw weight, the Kodabow Zulu sends an arrow downrange at 325 fps. The stock is styled after the AR-15 with an aluminum buffer tube. The cam-following trigger breaks at 4 pounds and includes an anti-dry-fire mechanism and ambidextrous safety. Scope options include a 3x32 illuminated fixed-power scope with red/green reticle with six aiming points. Also offered is a fiber-optic sight system with rear peep and four aim points.
The Bravo Zulu weighs 8 pounds (without scope) and is 38 ½ inches long with full stock extension (adjustable to 34 ¾ inches). Axle-to-axle width is 27 ½ inches (cocked) and 34 inches (uncocked). Power stroke is 14 inches. It features Kodabow’s Dynamic Flex Energy Storage split limbs and machined riser with string stops for noise reduction and smooth, accurate shooting. A Bravo Zulu package includes the crossbow, scope and Kodabow Magnum .338 arrows. Sling, bipod and other accessories are extra. MSRP: $899.99. Visit www.kodabow.comfor more information.PR_Kodabow.jpg
The new Maximus Ergo weighs 8 pounds and is 18 ½ inches wide. Rated at a 175-pound pull weight, the crossbow produces arrows speeds of 330 fps. The bow is 29 ¾ inches long and features a 2.5-pound trigger pull with ambidextrous safety and anti-dry-fire device.
An Ergo package includes scope, rings, scope mount, flip-up scope caps, quiver with three 20-inch arrows, field points, rope cocker and warranty. MSRP: $899. Visit www.maximuscrossbows.comfor more information.PR_maximus_ergo_crossbow.jpg
Mission MXB 360
Mission’s new MXB 360 features an adjustable pull weight range of 100 to 160 pounds that generates arrow speeds of 271 to 360 fps. The bow weighs 6 ½ pounds, it’s 35 inches long, limb width is 19 inches, and the power stroke is 14 inches. The bow is supplied without sights or accessories. An accessory package includes the MX-3 quiver, three 22-inch arrows and one of three scope options: the XB Basic, XB Hunter or XB Pro. MSRP for the assembled crossbow and soft case: $899. Visit www.missionarchery.comfor more information.PR_Mission.jpg
The all-new BlackHawk features Black Stealth camouflage. With its Bull-Pup trigger and ergonomic textured pistol grip, the BlackHawk is easy to maneuver in a tree stand or ground blind and is ideal for stalking and still-hunting.
The BlackHawk features Parker’s proprietary Advanced Split Limb Technology with integrated Fulcrum Pocket System, making it ultra-compact while generating arrow speeds over 320 fps. Weighing in at 6 ½ pounds, the BlackHawk is 34 ¼ inches long with an axle-to-axle width of 20 ½ inches. Its draw weight is 160 pounds with a power stroke of 10 ¾ inches. The BlackHawk features Parker’s EZ pull system that reduces cocking effort by over 50 percent.
A BlackHawk package includes a four-arrow QD quiver, four arrows with field points, and one of three optics packages: 3x32 multi-reticle scope, Illuminated 1X multi-reticle scope, or Illuminated 3x32 multi-reticle scope. MSRP: $549.95. Visit www.parkerbows.comfor more information.PR_Parker_BlackHawk_2013.jpg
Currently available in four draw weights that offer a top speed above 400 fps, the Ventilator series crossbows from Scorpyd are quiet, smooth, accurate and versatile. At a mere 80-pound draw weight with speeds of 300 fps, the Ventilator 80 is quiet — rivaling the noise level of many vertical bows. The compact size of the Ventilator (35 ¾ inches long, 12 7/8 inches axle to axle cocked) and light weight make it easy to carry and shoot.
Some of the features of the Scorpyd Ventilator are Patented Reverse Draw, Barnsdale laminated limbs, all titanium fasteners and the highest-rated trigger on the market.For more information, visit www.scorpyd.com or call (319) 331-4700.PR_scorpyd_vent_2-1.jpg
Southern Crossbow Rebel 350
The Rebel 350 offers tactical weapon features and a modern crossbow structure. The Rebel 350 is ideal for experienced crossbow users wanting to up their game. Hunters and rifle shooters who enjoy speed and the thrill of the chase, but want the experience of using a bow, will also find the it to be a suitable match. With state-of-the-art, modern features, an ergonomic design and a quicker learning curve than the compound bow; users can start using this crossbow quickly and effectively. Equipped with a Picatinny rail on the bottom and a Weaver rail on top, users can apply a variety of accessories including night vision units.
Its compound levering system; composite, split limb design; sturdy fore-grip; and 155-pound draw weight offer exceptional power and durability. Its quiet cams and 350 fps arrow speed ensure a quick and stealthy shot.
The Rebel 350 includes: a 4x32 crossbow scope, a foot stirrup, four field tip arrows, a quick detach quiver, a sling, string wax and safety glasses — everything needed for the ultimate crossbow experience. www.southerncrossbow.comPR_Southern-Crossbow-Rebel.jpg
Stryker StrykeZone 380
The StrykeZone 380 features a tactical design with aluminum barrel and riser. It’s 160-pound draw weight and 15 ½-inch power stroke generates arrow speeds of 380 fps. The KillSwitch trigger breaks cleanly at just under 3 pounds, and the Auto-Flip safety engages whenever the bow is cocked or the arrow is removed. The StrykeZone 380 also comes with a double-barred Cease-Fire safety plug, which slides into the trigger mechanism for additional lock-down security.
A basic StrykeZone 380 package includes multi-reticle scope, sling, cocking aid, string suppressors, quiver and five arrows. MSRP: $749. Visit www.strykerxbow.comfor more information.PR_Stryker.jpg
TenPoint Crossbow Technologies Vapor
The ultra-compact Vapor features TenPoint’s patented new 165-pound, 360 fps PLT (Parallel Limb Technology) bow assembly. Measuring 12.6 inches axle-to-axle when cocked, the design’s foundation is its lightweight machined aluminum riser. Fitted with 11-inch IsoTaper Limbs, new HE (Hybrid Eccentric) cams and custom-fabricated Viper X 8190G string and cables, the Vapor’s lateral limb action reduces recoil and noise. Also included are a re-engineered FSB (Functionally Superior Bullpup) stock assembly and a 22 ½-inch carbon fiber barrel and PowerTouch trigger. The barrel is embedded in the stock with rubber inserts and dual-purpose rubber safety wings to reduce vibration noise and to keep the shooter’s hand safely below the flight deck.
Weighing 6.8 pounds and measuring 37.4 inches long, the Vapor has a 15 ½-inch power stroke. The Vapor package includes six 22-inch Pro V22 420-grain carbon arrows. The longer arrow provides plenty of rail clearance for a wide variety of broadhead designs. It’s also equipped with a cable slot-mounted string stop to reduce string noise and vibration. The Vapor is double-dip fluid imaged in the Realtree APG camo pattern.
Equipped with the ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50, TenPoint’s patented integrated cocking assemblies, plus the proven RangeMaster Pro scope, the Vapor is available in a complete, ready-to-hunt package that includes arrows, quiver, Side-Mount Quiver Bracket, soft case, the new SDS, String Dampening System, and Bowjax limb, stirrup, and retention spring dampeners. MSRP: $1,999 with the ACUdraw cocking system, or $1,899 with the ACUdraw 50 cocking system. Visit www.tenpointcrossbows.comfor more information.PR_Vapor_withACUdraw_APG-1.jpg
Following the trend in AR crossbow design, Velocity’s Armageddon mirrors the Barrett .50 caliber BMG with a flat Combat Black finish. The bow weighs 8 pounds, and peak draw weight is 175 pounds with a 15-inch power stroke. The bow is 35 inches in length. A Armageddon crossbow package includes a quiver, three arrows, cocking rope and rail lube. MSRP: $499. Visit www.velocityarchery.comfor more information.PR_Velocity-Armageddon_5X7.jpg
Wicked Ridge Raider
The 175-pound Raider CLS will now be available without the patented ACU-52 cocking mechanism. While the new package will continue to feature a TenPoint 3X Multi-Line Scope, a Wicked Ridge three-arrow quiver and three Wicked Ridge aluminum arrows, it will also include a rope cocker. MSRP: $699. Visit www.wickedridgecrossbows.comfor more information.PR_WickedRidge_Raider_St_153C3.jpg